Subtle Signs of Eating Disorders

Worried your loved one may be at risk for anorexia or bulimia? These warning signs can help you spot a problem.

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Excessive exercise

Over-the-top workout habits—sometimes referred to as "exercise anorexia"—can go hand in hand with disordered eating and appear to be on the rise, Bulik says.

Defining "excessive" exercise can be tricky, however, especially when dealing with athletes or highly active young people. (A recent study of high school students found a higher rate of eating disorders among female athletes than non-athletes, 14% versus 3%.)

Here are two red flags: Does the person panic if they miss a day of exercise? And does he or she work out even when injured or sick? "These are pretty good indices that things have gone too far," Bulik says.

Next: Fear of eating in public

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